Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"The Next Always" by Nora Roberts

"The Next Always" is the first installment of Nora Robert's Inn Boonsboro series.  The three book tale takes place in the charming town square of Boonsboro, Maryland.  What really appeals to me about this series is that Inn Boonsboro actually exists in real life as it does in the book series...in fact it is now on my bucket list of things to do before I'm confined to a rascal.

Summary:  Beckett Montgomery and his brothers are working on a building rehab that hits close to home.  In fact they're renovating the Inn on the local town square that captured their mother's heart.  While Beckett's specialty is architecture, he's not afraid to lose his suit and get his (big manly) hands dirty on the job.  Beckett gets satisfaction from bringing new life to the building, working with his brothers, and from the occasional run ins with single mom and town bookseller Clare Brewster...the same Clare he's been pining for since high school.

"The Next Always" introduces readers to the sassy and sexy Montgomery brothers, to sweet and strong Clare and her determined and lovely closest friends and to the showpiece of Boonsboro - the Inn on the Square.  Beckett and Clare connect and spark romance amid the hope of renovation, the mystery of a local ghost and the love and chaos only a close family can truly bring.

What I Liked: 

  • I enjoyed the characters in "The Next Always".  I felt like the great Ms. Roberts spent a good amount of time fleshing out the characters and giving them solid background stories that made their reactions in the book believable.
  • Both Beckett and Clare are solid and likable in way that makes the reader root for them.
  • I'm a sucker for all things HGTV so the story's strong focus on the renovation of the building really appealed to me.  I find renovations absolutely fascinating and enjoyed reading about finishes and punch out lists.
  • I also liked reading about Clare's bookstore.  I would love to work in that bookstore.
  • The unfolding of the love story between Beckett and Clare was sweet.  While it followed the traditional romance pattern (man meets woman, they fall in lust, they secretly love, they fight, breakup, reconcile, happy every after) the story its self was interesting enough that it felt genuine and plausible.
What Drove Me Nuts:
  • I'm so over ghosts in romance stories.  This aspect of the story line was totally unnecessary.  (Of course, if you like ghosts, this might be for you!)
  • The stalker.  Oh the stalker.
What Might Drive You Nuts:  I read some online reviews, and think some of them bring up some good points.  These things didn't bother me, but may bother you...
  • Inn Boonsboro, Vesta Pizzaria and the town bookstore exist, and they are owned by Nora Roberts.  This book and the rest of the series could be construed as a giant advertisement for her establishments.
  • Several reviews mentioned that this book is a rehash of the MacKade brothers series.  I haven't read that series (but totally will now), but since the MacKade stories were published mid-90s I feel like there might be enough differences to make it worth your while.
  • The characters and story line follows the same pattern that all Nora Roberts series follow.  If you're looking for something fresh and new....well....
Rating:  I really enjoyed it!  Even though the characters and plots of all Nora's books follow similar patterns, her setting descriptions keep me coming back for more.

Also Read By This Author:  I've read almost all of them, and a full book list can be found on Nora Robert's website.  I've reviewed:  The Collector, Shadow Spell, Dark Witch, Thankless in Death, Concealed in Death

Reviewed By:  Tami

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